Thursday, March 23, 2017

Product Review: Beachbody Performance Products---Energize, Hydrate, Recover, Recharge

From the Beachbody Performance line, (L to R): Energize, Recharge, Recover, Hydrate.

Disclaimer: I received 4 canisters of Beachbody Performance products to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. 

I wasn't sure what to expect when I signed up to test the Beachbody Performance line of products.  I pictured the types of athletes and beautiful people we usually associate with the beach and having perfect bodies and thought...hmm...this should be interesting...as I am not that!!!

I have been pleasantly surprised.  The products taste very good, are easy to mix, seem to settle well, and work.  In addition, there are no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.  The products use plant-based extracts and phytonutrients.  Here's the rundown of players for your team:  Energize or Pre-Workout; Hydrate or During Workout; Recover or Post-Workout; and Nighttime or Recharge.  Let's look at each one of them.

Beachbody Performance Energize (Pre-Workout), Lemon flavored.  The Pre-Workout product is to be drunk within 30 minutes before exercise and is formulated in such a way to help increase performance through increased energy and endurance and a sharpened focus.  Below are the supplement facts if you are interested.  Note: there is caffeine in the product, so be careful how much you are using and determine that amount on the canister based on your weight.  The caffeine comes from the green tea.


The ingredients list for Beachbody Performance Energize (Pre-Workout).

I am drinking a bottle now as I get ready to run in a little bit.  The product is a very crazy neon yellow and very lemony, but not too much so.  I have had no problems with it on the run and it does seem to work fine.  Just got back a bit ago from a solid 6 mile run after being very ill Tuesday, I'd say maybe this stuff works!

Beachbody Performance Hydrate (During Workout) Citrus Flavor.  Obviously this is your go to drink in the group for during exercise.  The recipe calls for 1 scoop per 30 minutes of planned exercise to 8 oz of water.  The citrus flavor once again makes the bottle a neon yellowish color and has a solid taste.  Hydrate is formulated to more easily absorb without being to hard on the gut.  It is designed to help rehydrate you and give back some of the salts and minerals lost due to sweat including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. While I didn't use it on today's run, yesterday, I took a bottle and drank it on my way to work as I recovered from being sick the day before and also knowing that I'd be on my feet past midnight.  It definitely helped and once again the taste is good and I had no stomach issues or digestion problems with it.

Lemon Energize and Citrus Hydrate in preparation for a longer run.

Beachbody Performance Recover (Post-Workout) Chocolate Flavor.  This is like a chocolate protein shake on overdrive!!! Twenty, count them, 20 grams of protein per 1 scoop to 8 oz water.  You have a tough run, mix in 1-2 scoops (or more?), and you are going to get some muscle repair!!! And the taste?  Awesome.  Very easy to mix, especially if you have a water bottle or a blender bottle, of course!  Protein sources are: whey isolate, pea, and micellar casein protein.  Branched chain amino acids include: leucine, isoleucine, and valine in a 2:1:1 ratio.  All of this is to help speed up muscle recovery and combat muscle soreness.  And, it's yummy!  Did I mention that already?



Prepping some Beachbody Performance Chocolate Recover, (Post-Workout).



Beachbody Performance Recharge (Nighttime) Vanilla Flavor.  Very similar to the recovery, only in vanilla!  And once again...yummy!!!  Like a vanilla protein milkshake. Also, 20 grams of protein per scoop per 8 oz water.  The 20 grams are all casein protein that is suppose to help overnight in muscle recovery.  It also contains the branched chain amino acids in an optimal ratio and has cherry extract to help combat delayed onset muscle soreness, (DOMS).  I wasn't sure how this wouLd work before I went to bed, as I have to be careful sometimes what I eat. but it was fine and I had no heartburn from it, which is a major test for me!  Again, the taste was great, no gut problems, awesome taste=win!!!  The supplement facts for this product are below:





















The ingredients list for Beachbody Performance Recharge (Night Time).

Overall, I would have to say, that I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality and thoroughly enjoyed the taste of the products from Beachbody Performance.  They are NSF Certified which means that they have been tested by an independent and accredited outside organization for quality.  If you are in the market for any or all of these types of products, give them a try and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. :)



The Beachbody Performance Lemon Energize, (Pre-Workout).



Yummy! The Beachbody Performance Chocolate Post-Workout drink is awesome!!!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Post 100: Figuring Out Where Running Fits Into My Life Right Now

Where does the trail lead?


This is my 100th blog post.  I have pondered several times what type of post this should be and what it should include.  Perhaps it should be a reflection on past race reviews, trail reviews, and athlete interviews.  Perhaps it should include major shout-outs to the three companies I am so privileged to be an ambassador for these past few years, (Sportland TeaBibRave.comThe Ginger People).  Perhaps it should be a meditation on God and the fact that He has so blessed me to run and enjoy His creation.  Maybe it should be a big thank-you to my wife and kids for putting up with me and allowing me to run so much!



My family, (minus our oldest!), in Wisconsin.


But, I have also wondered if I just need to write with more transparent and brutal honesty about my current struggles.  This past year has been hard for my family and I.  We have moved halfway across the country, (again), and I have started a new career.  My wife now has to work full-time.  The kids are getting older and involved in more things.  I am on my feet most of my work week and this has caused continual plantar fasciitis that only recently seems to be getting a little better, yet is an everyday issue I must address.  In addition, because I put a lot of energy into my work both physically and mentally, I often feel spent. My diet has also slidden from healthier times.

All of this means, that I need to relook at how running fits into my life and the lives of my family.  I don't make my own schedule anymore.  Time is way more limited than it used to be.  Running cannot take precedence over God, my family, or work.  Sometimes that is hard for me, especially when I feel like I am failing in my running compared to prior years.  

I need to accept that, at least for right now, the days of running 1000+ mile years and doing events longer than 13.1 miles or even a 25K, might be on hold.  Running has to fit around everything else, not everything else around running.  Some runners and athletes in other sports might fall over and die from reading that last statement...but I've always known that's true.  Sometimes I succeed at accomplishing it...and sometimes I don't.




Which one has more hair?

I have thought about just giving up running...but I know what will happen if I do...and the ramifications wouldn't be good.  Running cannot be more important than God, yet it draws me near to God.  Running cannot be more important than my wife and kids, yet, it often allows me a way to get out my stress so I am good to live with at home!  Plus, it has enabled us to see some pretty cool sights on various trips we have taken together.  It has also been a treat to run with my wife and kids from just around the block to local races to running and hiking in the mountains, something I hope to continue to do with them.  I have had some special moments I will remember with each of them as I saw them complete certain events. Running also cannot be more important than work, yet it allows me to be in good enough shape to meet the physical demands of my work and has done so for a long time.

So what does this mean for me going forward?  I need to make a commitment to God that He is first in everything.  I need to make a commitment to my wife and kids to not let running take away from our relationship but as much as possible only enhance it.  I need to figure out how to make running work with a varied and constantly changing schedule at both work and home.  I need to stop looking back and comparing where I am at to where I was, be happy for the past, learn from it, and move forward.


My 2 oldest atop Sacajawea, outside of Bozeman, MT, 2015.

I also need to be realistic, as I noted above about distances for races and the year.  As goal oriented as I can be, (and most runners are), maybe I have to let go of how much mileage I seek to accomplish in 2017 and instead, make the runs count for my health, my family, my ambassadorships, the races for which I am training, and finally growing in my relationship with God.  This, I believe can result in more joy.

I have often said, that as Americans, we are chasing the wrong thing when we chase happiness.  Happiness is like icing on a cake, it's sugar sweet, but not long lasting.  Joy...joy is more like life blood.  It's something that courses deep within...from the soul.  That joy has to come from something outside of it that can fill it, and like the ancient scholar Augustine said, "Thous hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee."

Running cannot fill that hole in our souls.  Only God can do so. But, if He does, then running, and anything that shows forth His glory, can be an outworking of that joy. I want my running to be joyous.  Now, I am not naive, it will still be hard, tiring, and often lack joy at times, but less so, if I can put it back into proper perspective and in the right priority in life.


I am very thankful to Sportland Tea, BibRave, and The Ginger People for being able to represent each of them as a brand ambassador and for all their encouragement.

I am reminded of that joy every now and again when the theme song from the movie Chariots of Fire comes up on my old iPod Nano that I still run with for music and podcasts. One of the main characters in that film, Eric Liddell, was good at finding joy in his running while keeping priorities right in life. At one point, he turns to his sister who is chewing him out for putting running before everything else and forgetting his goal to be a missionary to China, and speaks these words...

"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure."

Running right now feels more like a chore than a pleasure.  Again, I am not naive...running takes discipline and often does feel like a chore...but it does need to be an add-on in life, it cannot be life itself.  As an add-on, it should bring joy and benefit not just oneself, but others.  (This is why as a runner and race director, I have often sought to run/race/direct/organize for charity.)  I believe, that it should also, and even ultimately, give glory to God.  In short, running isn't just for ourselves...but ultimately must be for something outside of ourselves.  If not, then running is simply...narcissistic. Unfortunately, that charge could be leveled at myself as well as many a runner.

So, perhaps that's the root of my struggle.  Is my running narcissistic, or is does it have meaning outside of myself, can it bring joy not just to me, but others as well?

I am not sure right now, to be honest.  But I can take a step in the right direction right now...by finishing this post as my half of my kids just came home and supper isn't going to jump on the table by itself.


This post is dedicated to my wife, whom I have been blessed with and love.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

2017 Racing Season: Preview Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon



The Maine coast is a beauty! Photo courtesy of OldPort Facebook page.
Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. 

Maine...there's a lot of memories for me in that state.  I lived in Westbrook and Windham, when I worked in Standish, long ago, all towns just to the west of Portland.  I use to take drives through Portland and on into Cape Elizabeth to the beautiful lighthouse so many see in pictures.  I volunteered in a youth center for a while in downtown.  Later, Maine was where my wife and I honeymooned and traveled to more than once.  Then a full sized Zinnecker family trip.  

Going back to run a half marathon in this lovely town will be a fun return.  But not only will it be a return to Portland, but a return to road running.  Certainly I run roads now, in order to get to trails, or on days when I cannot get to the trails, but before the local 5K in Walworth, NY, last summer, I hadn't run a road race since...2011?  I think that's right.  And though I've run several distances on the trails, from just a few K to 50K, I have only run one road half marathon, and that was back in 2009.

I am very thankful for the opportunity from BibRave to do this race, and after watching the course preview video, am looking forward to it.  It's always nice to go back to somewhere you enjoyed in the past, and I believe this will be a beautiful race with great views of Casco Bay and the Portland area.    

Want to join me?  Check out the race website at http:www.oldporthalfmarathon.com and save 10% with code bibrave10.  The race is July 8, 2017.  The course does look like it has some shade, plenty of water stops including some misting stations, views of the water, a run past the brewery sponsoring the race, beer at the finish line from Shipyard Brewery, plenty of flats, a few hills, and some nice downhills.  Check out the video at: http://www.oldporthalfmarathon.com/course-previews/

Hope to see you there!!! :)

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